Experts compared notes during the AGM of the European Polio Union where awareness and treatment of Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) were high on the agenda. The British Polio Fellowship’s Chair of Trustees, Bryan Rowley, was a key speaker at the well-attended event in London this May and discussed the changing face of The British Polio Fellowship, before taking questions from an international audience.
The event was also a chance for those with a common interest in Polio and PPS to discuss stepping up the pressure on European parliaments to acknowledge the scale of the late onset symptoms of the disease.
Bryan said that addressing the AGM had given him a chance to present the view of the charity and its members about the current situation regarding Polio and Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) in the United Kingdom. “Our point of view matters and comparing notes with our European colleagues makes this event which attracted a large and influential audience, an extremely valuable one,” he added.
Other speakers included Dr Julian Harriss, Deputy Director of the Lane Fox Unit at St Thomas’ Hospital, whose topic was ‘PPS – Perspective and Treatment in the UK.’ PPS is a neurological disorder that affects around 120,000 Polio survivors in the UK and Dr Harriss’s Unit is the only one in the country qualified to treat those with the condition.
The British Polio Fellowship and EPU consult on several areas of mutual interest and the charity’s work with former MP for Edmonton, Andy Love in taking the PPS message to Parliament has mirrored efforts by the EPU to put similar pressure on the European Parliament. The EPU has drawn up a political manifesto for people with disabilities making specific reference to PPS and calls upon the EU Parliament to recognise Polio survivors in their own right and for member states to deliver an official acknowledgement of PPS.
“The battle to beat Polio and PPS remains an international effort and one to which The British Polio Fellowship is completely committed,” said Ted Hill MBE, CEO of The British Polio Fellowship.
“The AGM was a great success and our work alongside the EPU is important to strengthen public awareness of those living with the late effects of Polio and PPS across the whole of the EU as well as here in the UK.”
Following the success of the EPU AGM, The British Polio Fellowship was involved in a PPS Information Day in Northern Ireland on 4 June. This Anglo-Irish event saw Ted Hill invited to the event in Ireland by
Bobby Doherty, CEO of The Northern Ireland Polio Fellowship and formed part of the Europe wide agenda to further awareness and needs of PPS survivors throughout the European Union.
To find out more about The British Polio Fellowship and to learn about the late effects of Polio and Post Polio Syndrome visit the charity’s website at www.britishpolio.org.uk
Read Bryan’s address to the EPU here